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Window Gallery

  • Installation image

    Maker: Mary Curtis
    Courtesy of the artist
  • Installation image

    Maker: Mary Curtis
    Courtesy of the artist

Festoon

14 December 2004 - 22 January 2005

festoon  1 n. chain of flowers, ribbons etc. hung in a curve between two

points. 2 v.t. adorn with or form into festoons. [F f. It. (FESTIVE)]

The New Zealand Pocket Oxford Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 1986

“This work is my celebration of the New Zealand summer Christmas festival. Like most New Zealanders I get bowled over every year by the stunning display of our native pohutukawa trees in flower. These magnificent trees in full bloom trigger strong memories of childhood Christmases. The summer holidays at our family bach in Central Hawkes Bay, the long hot days of beach, sand and sea. Every year we would decorate the bach with crepe paper festoons while the trees surrounding us would be on fire with bright red blossoms.

These flowers are constructed from fibre optic cable lit with LED (light- emitting diode) lights. Each flower has about 300 points that light up. The work is designed to have a life during the day and at night. Each viewing draws attention to the flower, the festival and the season in a different way.

As a jeweller this work is a departure from my usual material of metal. Although not intended for the body it still explores the issues of adornment and decoration central to a jeweller’s practice. The structure of the festoon itself references jewellery related to ceremony and celebration, lei, the traditional jewelled necklace and perhaps even a rosary.